Junior inside linebacker Marcus Dowtin, among Georgia’s top tacklers each of the past two seasons, is transferring.
Dowtin was granted an unconditional release, the school said on Tuesday evening.
The news of his departure comes the week after revelations that Dowtin had faced a second-degree assault charge in his home state in Ocean City, Md., stemming from a bar fight on May 29. That case did not move forward after it was resolved to the victim’s satisfaction on Dec. 21.
Coach Mark Richt was not aware of the incident until last week, and when asked about Dowtin’s status said: “We’ll talk about Marcus in a couple of days.”
It was unclear whether Dowtin could have remained with the team.
Dowtin traveled to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl, but did not play in the 10-6 loss to Central Florida on New Year’s Eve, for what was termed a “coach’s decision.”
Dowtin was fourth on the team in tackles this past season and third in 2009, with 57 each season.
In the preseason, Warren Belin, his new position coach, said Dowtin had “the ability to be one of the best players in this conference,” but lacked consistency.
Dowtin started two games in 2010. He had 10 tackles against both Auburn and Florida and an interception against Colorado.
“I didn’t really feel like I performed like I should have (this season),” Dowtin said during bowl practices, but he expressed optimism about his future with the Bulldogs. “I feel like I can be a very dominant player in the 3-4 (defense). I’m just waiting on my shot.”
That shot will now come elsewhere. Georgia could not provide details about possible destinations for Dowtin.
Attempts to reach Dowtin on Tuesday night were unsuccessful.
Georgia already is losing starting inside linebacker Akeem Dent, the team’s leading tackler.
Dowtin is the second Georgia player to be given a release to transfer in recent weeks. The other is junior Nick Williams, who played sparingly this season as he moved between safety and linebacker.
Note: Georgia confirmed that it has two mid-year enrollees. Receiver Christian Conley from North Paulding High School joins quarterback Christian LeMay from North Carolina, who joined the Bulldogs during bowl practices.